Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after Bowl Season, with an early 2016 playoff analysis look.


Let’s take a final look at how the conference matched up after bowl season.

Let me point out on my philosophy on these rankings – you’re most recent  OOC results count a lot.

We’ll give each conference a relative strength value 1-10.

Let me explain my relative rankings

0-5 : Conference lacks depth no elite teams

6-7: Conference lacks depth, and there are 0-2 elite teams, and 1-2 quality teams

7-8: At least 2 elite teams, and at least 2 quality teams.

8-9: 3 elite teams, and at least 2 quality teams

9-10: 1/2 of conference is elite and/or quality teams.

1) SEC – 7.75

Give the SEC credit, that was a very impressive bowl season. The conference went 9-2 during bowl season, with a stunning 7 of the 9 wins by than 21 points. Alabama was the national champion, and in the Sugar Bowl they embarrassed the Big 10 Champion Michigan State.

Yes there were losses during the course of the year to Toledo and Texas Tech by Arkansas. Florida State routed SEC East Champion Florida, so the fine bowl season doesn’t erase some head scratching results earlier in the year, but no conference was better during the bowls. They count too, and that moves the SEC to the top for 2015.

2) Big 12 – 7.2

You’re going to see how close the rest of the power 5 conferences are after the SEC. They all have warts, but they all have some strong points

I guess the Big 12 was 2nd. Their conference champion Oklahoma was clobbered by ACC Champion Clemson. The conference had four 20+ point losses in their 3-4 bowl season. If you look at the non conference results what was the conference’s best win the entire season? UNC? Arkansas? Tennessee? Oregon?

Had TCU not comeback and made an epic comeback against Oregon I would have had them last. That said they get a lift because TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State were good, but not great teams. That’s still 40% of your teams. The Big 12 is closer to the bottom of this list than the SEC.

3) Big 10 – 7.15

For the Big 10 Ohio State looked great against Notre Dame, but Michigan State didn’t look like they even belonged on field with Alabama. Iowa was embarrassed by Stanford. Michigan thumped an overrated Florida team, and overall the Big 10 went 5-5 in their bowl games, but did finish they year with 5 ranked teams.

Ohio State was the conference’s only elite team, and they lost to Michigan State.

4) Pac 12 – 7.10

The Pac 12 slides into fourth. The 6-4 bowl record was kind of soft. Only 2 of the wins were over Power 5 teams, but they didn’t lose to anyone outside the Power 5 as well in those gams. That’s something.

Stanford was their best team, and they lost to Northwestern. Yea the Cardinals might win 9 out 10 times against Northwestern, but they lost when they played. The conference finished with only 3 ranked teams in an overall disappointing year.

5) ACC – 7.05

Someone had to finish 5th right? Really not much separated 2-5. Clemson was the nation’s best team not named Alabama. Louisville had a good bowl win over Texas A&M, but many of the rest of the results weren’t so good.

If Florida State or UNC won their bowl to give the ACC 2 top 10 teams, I could have had the conference higher. Pittsburgh and NC State suffered blow out losses. The ACC went 4-6 in the bowls which was by a hair worse than the Big 10 and Big 12. The conference did finish with 3 top 15 teams which matched the Big 10 and Big 12.

Like I said the rankings 2-5 were very close.

The Rest 

Injury depleted Notre Dame was no match for Ohio State. Houston had a great win in the Chick Fil A Bowl over Florida State.

My Current Playoff Teams for 2016

As my personal criticism of the playoff committee, I don’t think the top 4 seeds order should be released until the final rankings. The playoff committee’s inconsistent and ever changing criteria is causing unnecessary frustration and confusion. It’s one of the improvement points I’d have for them.

If I had a vote this is who I would put in the playoff right now.

In –   Michigan| Oklahoma | Clemson | LSU

Just Missed – 5) Alabama 6) Florida State 7) Ohio State 8) Houston

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